334 cases recorded on the weekend
“More is needed to be done to stop the spread”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas reached another bleak milestone over the weekend as it surpassed 15,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Between Friday and Saturday, the nation recorded 334 cases: 162 on Friday, 81 on Saturday and 91 on Sunday.
Health officials also reported five additional COVID-19 deaths.
Four women, ages 51, 56, 59 and 89, died between July 27 and July 31.
Three of the women were from New Providence, and the fourth was from Exuma.
A 52-year-old man of New Providence also died from the virus on July 23.
As of Sunday, total deaths stood at 291, with 29 remaining under investigation.
Since mid-March 2020, the onset of the pandemic, The Bahamas has recorded 15,011 cases.
Of the 162 cases recorded on Friday, there were 136 on New Providence, 10 on Grand Bahama, seven on Eleuthera, six on Abaco, two on the Berry Islands and one on Exuma.
New Providence also surpassed 11,000 cases on Friday — more than the 8,311 cases the entire country recorded in both the first and second waves of the virus.
As it relates to the 81 infections on Saturday, 63 were on New Providence, 11 on Grand Bahama, four on Exuma, two on Eleuthera and one on Abaco.
The breakdown of yesterday’s 91 cases showed 74 on New Providence, eight on Grand Bahama, five on Eleuthera, two on the Berry Islands and two with pending locations.
As of Sunday, there were 1,996 active cases, while another 12,619 cases had recovered.
This represents a recovery rate of 84 percent.
Another 102 cases remained hospitalized, with 14 in intensive care units.
The Bahamas remains in a COVID surge.
Last month, Minister of Health Renward Wells said a rise in infections has been the norm following major holiday celebrations and that the healthcare sector continues to be strained.
As cases continued to climb, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis advised in a national address that the government planned to shore up the healthcare sector with additional hires of nurses and doctors.
He indicated that healthcare professionals were being pushed the limit and urged the public to safeguard Bahamian families and the nation by becoming vaccinated.
When contacted, National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme Director Dr Nikkiah Forbes said with the climbing cases and hospitalizations, the surge is “raging out of control”.
Asked if The Bahamas is experiencing a fourth wave, Forbes said the curve of the third wave was never flattened to mark its end.
She said irrespective of what the surge is being referred to as, it is a troubling trend that must be mitigated.
“We really have to mitigate this, following the public health measures, vaccination, robust contact tracing, isolation of cases, quarantine and, you know, this is a very certain trend that we are continuing to surge,” Forbes said.
“It is very, very difficult when the healthcare system is overwhelmed and in the face of something like this, it is challenging.
“More is needed to be done to stop the spread.”
Amid the peak of The Bahamas’ second wave, the nation underwent extensive curfews and lockdowns to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Since then, health officials have confirmed the presence of more contagious COVID variants in-country.
While the prime minister has said restrictions will be tightened and eased as is needed, his national address last week did not include any additional restrictions.
Instead, the prime minister encouraged personal responsibility and for individuals to confine social contacts to those in their households and adhere to all health protocols.
This was a different tone from the prime minister’s budget address in the House of Assembly in June, where he announced that fully vaccinated individuals were free to “party on”.